Hip dysplasia in dogs
According to the American Kennel Club, canine hip dysplasia is the disease that strikes fear in large breed dog owners everywhere. While canine hip dysplasia affects all dogs, it targets giant breed dogs more often, especially St. Bernards, Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers.
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11. Final Thoughts
What is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a degenerative joint disease that affects a dog's hip joint. Usually affecting the hip joints of large breed dogs, hip dysplasia can still impact young dogs. Many dogs develop hip dysplasia over time as the dog's hips age and start to experience pain over time. Hip dysplasia dogs often show joint laxity and develop clinical signs of hip dysplasia before it's too late.
Your pet's clinical signs might not be the same as another dog with hip dysplasia but that's why pet parents should know about the various symptoms. It's smart to know about the signs of hip dysplasia in a dog's joints. Let's take a look at the difference between healthy joints and joint pain. That way, you'll know what to look for and you can start treating hip dysplasia early, which is the best approach!
Hip Dysplasia Signs and Symptoms in Dogs
Some symptoms of hip dysplasia include:
- Backend and thighs weaken and lose muscle mass
- Bigger more muscular frontend and overdeveloped shoulders
- Decrease exercise
- Decrease range of leg motion
- Hopping around
- Narrow back leg stance
- Signs of backend pain
- Trouble getting up
- Trouble walking
What Causes Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia overwhelmingly affects older and larger breeds cluing us into some of the main causes of hip dysplasia in dogs.
- A genetic predisposition for hip looseness or muscle laxity
- Rapid weight gain and obesity
- Nutritional factors and diet
- Diminished pelvic muscle mass
- Bunny hopping instead of running
- Climbing stairs lameness
- Your dog's age
- Bone spurs
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
These tests are undertaken in a similar order of diagnosis and include...
- Physical exam
- Range of motion test
- Blood tests
- Electrolyte panel
- Blood chemical profile
Dog Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options
There is a range of treatment options for hip dysplasia. In mild cases, a change in diet and exercise may be enough to keep symptoms at bay and perhaps directly fix the cause. Some of the most common ways to treat hip dysplasia include:
- Surgical procedures
- Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs
- Triple pelvic osteotomy
- Physical therapy
- Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis
- Total hip replacements
- Pain medications
- Orthopedic Foundation testing
- Femoral head ostectomy
- Total hip replacement
- Monitoring your dog's sitting or lying position
In severe cases where diet, exercise, and medication fail, surgery is often recommended.
Surgical intervention by a board certified veterinary surgeon is typically reserved for more serious cases of hind end pain stiffness and medical management for larger dogs in pain. Surgery leaves scar tissue which can be hard for some dogs to bounce back from, and adult dogs don't recover from surgery as easily as dogs younger than them do. So, surgery as a treatment option is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
CBD For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia
CBD is the latest herb that’s making perhaps the biggest fuss ever seen in the natural and holistic health world. People are using CBD both for themselves and giving it to their dogs to help with a number of medical conditions: anxiety, epilepsy, and beyond. CBD can help improve health in a number of ways because it acts on a vital regulatory system that’s vital to our health.
One of those conditions CBD has been seen to help with is a loose hip joint. CBD couldn’t be easier to supplement into your dog's diet, so let’s check out how it may help treat and prevent hip dysplasia in dogs. CBD is known to decrease pain and act as a pain management tool for pets with dog dysplasia. It can decrease inflammation in older dogs and act as joint supplements to minimize discomfort of the many clinical signs of hip joint pain in pets.
Using CBD to Help Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a hallmark of many diseases, and chronic hip dysplasia is no different. Above you saw that certain surgeries to correct hip joint pain are no longer possible once inflammation is detected.
So not only is it important to treat inflammation once it there, it’s critical to prevent it from occurring. Doing so can stop the disease from crippling your dog. Remember, while it’s extremely likely to see inflammation in severe cases of hip b, there is a good chance inflammation won’t present itself in early or acute hip dysplasia. Again, this is why it so important to seek help as soon as you see any symptoms.
CBD helps specialized neurotransmitters in the body that activate receptors throughout the immune system and other systems. When activated these receptors are vital to your dog’s ability to maintain and regain control of a system that has become overactive.
Often the things that make mammals feel sick are our own defense systems — such as the inflammatory process or anxiety. Good inflammation helps kill pathogens but sometimes the immune system is under too much stress and inflammatory cells start attacking the body instead.
Study after study has shown that CBD’s ability to target these regulatory receptors can both prevent and treat inflammation regardless of the source.
Using CBD to Help Your Dog’s Hip Pain
One of the biggest symptoms of both the ball and socket joint issue is pain. It cannot be stated enough how important it is to stop pain before it becomes a chronic issue. This is because chronic pain is both a physical and mental/emotional disease.
The brain has an interesting way it adapts to everyday occurrences. Usually, the brain learns to ignore things, but pain is different. Brains scans show abnormal activity in those with chronic pain to those without it. Studies show that chronic pain signals will move from their nociceptive region and enter into regions that control emotions. This means chronic pain can make your dog depressed.
Hip dysplasia already makes it different enough for your dog to play, move around, and in some cases even eat. The last thing we need is debilitating pain making them depressed. This only pushes them even further into an abyss of misery. Fortunately, CBD may be the answer to preventing this from happening.
Studies show that CBD acts on receptors that suppress inflammatory and chronic pain — both of which are very difficult to manage. But that’s not all, other research shows that by targeting CB2 receptors, CBD can play a positive role in nociception pain. This means that CBD may help prevent nociception pain signal from moving into regions that affect emotions. There is a lot of backing showing CBD may really help your dog’s hip pain.
How to Prevent Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
The best way to keep your dog happy and healthy with explosive mobility is by learning how to prevent your dog from developing hip dysplasia. Here are a few ways to be preventative about hip dysplasia in dogs:
- Control your dog's weight
- Keep your dog in shape with exercise
- Monitor your pet's food intake
- Control your dog's diet
- Give them supplements for joint health
- Take your dog to consistent screenings
How you decide to treat your dog’s joint health will ultimately fall into your hands. Medical management is many pet parents' first thought but it's not the only option. For example, physical therapy or keeping your pet at a healthy weight are two examples of how to prevent the pelvic bone or femoral head from causing issues.
Whether you have a giant breed dog or mature dogs or any type of pup in between, you now have a wealth of information on how to prevent most dogs from losing their normal hip function. We strongly recommend immediately seeking help from your primary care veterinarian and your dog's regular checkup if you notice any issues, even if they are mild.
If you catch and treat signs of a false joint, problems with shoulder muscles, or issues with their hind legs right away, the majority of dogs will go on to have a dynamic and normal functioning life. Hopefully, it’s just a minor bump in the road, and it’s very possible that this is all that has to happen.
We always recommend that you discuss available hip dysplasia treatment options for your dog with your veterinarian. As well, you’ll want to make sure to stay to date with our blog, which is simply chock-full of the best health tips and info for you and your loveable four-legged fluff balls.
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